Friday, July 02, 2004

Soft on the outside, hard on the inside

My father likes to say that my sister Karen and I are opposites. Karen is my only older sibling, by 15 months. Dad says that Karen is hard on the outside but soft on the inside, like a chocolate covered marshmallow. From outward appearances she is tough. What can't be known from her surface is that she is very sensitive, writing poetry and fiction.

He describes me as her opposite in that I am soft on the outside but hard on the inside. (Nice thing for a father to say, isn't it?) I smile a lot, making jokes, and I'm very friendly. But apparently I am cold as steel on the inside in his opinion.

I find some truths in his comparison in that I am tougher than I appear. Maybe it's the dimples, round cheeks and smile that makes some people think I'm a pushover, until they find out that in business or finance I'm a shark. I have to be tough or I'd never survive. I have to be.

Last night I thought about this as I was flying home, keeping to myself and not striking up conversations with seatmates. I was unhappy because I didn't get my first class upgrade (for being a frequent flyer) so I had to sit in steerage. When I'm coming home from traveling for work, I'm exhausted. I feel like raw hamburger. I just want to read and try to relax. I fly so much that although I always look, there is no one to meet me at the gate when I arrive. No fanfare, no big deal.

Back to the IVF, nothing exciting going on there. I took my last birth control pill last night. I could say that it was my last one for life, but that would be bad juju so I'd better not. Instead I'll just say that I'm looking forward to the more exciting portions of this process... growing follicles. I'm hoping that I will produce plenty. I'm kind of concerned that I think what they are planning for my stims is too low. I can only afford one damn fresh cycle, so please let's crank it up a notch. Here's a little summary of the call I made today to 'reassure' myself.

Pazel~ Hi, this is Pazel. I called Monday with questions about my protocol and never got a call back.
Little Girl--I've been monitoring the phones all week. There is no way you called on Monday.
P~ Well I did. It went straight to voice mail and I left a detailed message stating-
LG--(first of many interruptions)Did you do option 2 or option 3?
P~Option 2 of course.
LG--No. I'm sure you didn't. I've returned all calls and you never left a message.
P~ I did. My question is regarding my stims. I'm concerned that they're too low considering the Lupron and that the dose isn't much different from when I did my last IUI. Then-
LG--It's not too low. Other patients have told us that it was too low and then they ended up overstimulating when we increased it. We will look at the number of follicles you have in the early u/s to tell if your level is high enough.
P~ From my past IUIs, you can see that I only finish 10-20% of the follicles I start, so-
LG--Other patients with male factor or PCOS (we've got both) tend to overstimulate so we have to keep the doses low. We will check on the first ultrasound and see how many you have and if it's only a few we can increase it.
P~ One IUI I stared with 10 and finished with 2. They changed the dose and I started with 7 and finished with 1-
LG--(interrupting very Ross Perot style) Can I finish? Can I finish?
P~ What?
LG--Like I said, we will check it on the CD 7 u/s and can adjust it up from there.
P~ My concern is that it took 3 cycles for you just to get the stims right for the IUIs because you had assumed I would overstimulate and perform like other patients when I don't. I can only afford to do this fresh cycle once and-
LG--We don't want to have to cancel your cycle because you overstimulate like other patients.
P~ I will cancel my cycle if I understimulate and only have a few. I-
LG--Oh we won't cancel for that. We can still do it with a few.
P~ Like I was saying, for *my* money, and considering I can only afford to do one fresh cycle, *I* will not go all the way to retrieval and transfer if I only have a few. It has to be worth it or-
LG--Dr. Power Chickie will see you on Tuesday and you can go over this with her then.
P~ I will. I definitely will.

So now during my u/s on Tuesday, I'll have to pin Dr. Power Chickie down long enough to tell her what I think of her office. First, I called and got no call back. Second, her Little Girl office worker basically called me a liar instead of maybe, oh I don't know, apologizing. Third, she was domineering and didn't hear a world I said. Had this been an actual emergency and I was under emotional duress from the drugs, I would have ripped her head off. Is this the type of treatment I am to expect from her office? I'm fine with confrontation when it is immediate, but because it's not until Tuesday I'll have to play it out many many times and probably lose sleep over it. Time to put that steel inner core to good use and not back down. Did I forget to mention that I hate medical office workers? Nurses are great. Doctors are fine. Medical office workers are self-anointed princess idiots from hell.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have one question for you if you don't mind. I am starting birth control pills for about two weeks to delay my cycle until my office opens back up. Can you le tme know how many days it took between your last pill and you period? I would really appreciate it. And good luck with your appt. with you doctor. It's good that you're taking charge. It's your body and your paying for it.


11:56 AM  
Blogger alexhere said...

What a stupid little ninny she is...Can these people possible hire someone qualified to deal with us crazy infertiles...we are a sensitive bunch you know!

Hopefully the doctors will hear you and not go on their own agenda!

10:24 PM  
Blogger alexhere said...

What a stupid little ninny she is...Can these people possible hire someone qualified to deal with us crazy infertiles...we are a sensitive bunch you know!

Hopefully the doctor will hear you and not go on their own agenda!

10:24 PM  

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